News 30 Jun 2010

Racing Insider #26

MotoOnline's favourite feature from behind the scenes has a stacked line-up of bits and pieces for this week!

The MX Nationals is going down to the wire betweem Simmonds (42), Mackenzie (211) and Marmont (1), with Boyd (4) not out of contention either. Image: Stephen Piper.

The MX Nationals is going down to the wire betweem Simmonds (42), Mackenzie (211) and Marmont (1), with Boyd (4) not out of contention either. Image: Stephen Piper.

The title countdown is on for the 2010 season, with just two weekends of racing left to run in July and a mega double-header round of racing set to wrap up the season at Coolum in Queensland.

At the top of the table sits defending dual champion Jay Marmont, 16 points ahead of international Billy Mackenzie, however don’t count out third-placed Tye Simmonds because his first ever Pro Open win in the final race at Wodonga proved he straight up has the pace to match and beat the best in the business.

On a championship level, remember that Simmonds will be heading to his home club at Moree for the next round and he’ll be confident coming off a victory. Plus, did anybody hear the whispers that Simmonds’ 350 SX-F had a stock engine apart from a pipe in that final moto that he won? I was told by a very reliable source that it was after his factory bike had a problem in moto one.

While Marmont, Mackenzie and Simmonds are the title favourites at this stage, you have to give credit to Suzuki’s Cody Cooper for his first win of the season last weekend and he must be wondering what might have been if he started the season with the form he currently has. He’s not out of it yet, but the title’s a long shot for him at the moment.

By the way, a lot of the guys on the weekend were saying how pumped they were on the track preparation, assisted by rain in the lead-up to the event, so good work to the Albury Wodonga Motorcycle Club and WEM.

Check out over at for his opinion on Aussie racing from a Euro perspective.

Speaking of Euros, Dean Ferris was saying that he could have done better in his German Motocross GP appearance earlier this month if he’d had more time to set up the factory Martin Honda CRF450R. While the bikes are obviously good, even the best equipment in the sport needs to be personalised to suit a rider’s needs.

We had news this morning that the Vets MX Cup class to be held at Coolum’s MX Nationals finale will be an Australian championship event. The 35-Under 40s will race on Saturday, while the 40-plus class will race on Sunday over three motos to decide the titles. Vet racing really is taking off all over the world right now!

I’d like to see an industry fun race at one of these Nationals sooner or later, preferably on the Saturday when the track is at its smoothest! I think many would join in on the action, but the risk of injury for mechanics and team personnel will probably rule out the idea for now…

Finally for Aussie Motocross, who do you think should be the MX2 (Lites) rider at this year’s Motocross of Nations for Team Australia? They have to be Under 23 to contest the class this year, however it is interesting to me that Motorcycling Australia has put out application forms for positions on the Aussie squad for all three classes.

Surely Chad Reed or Brett Metcalfe aren’t taking time out from their AMA Nationals commitment to apply in writing for a spot on the team with MA? I know it’s probably just for the processing details, but I just found it interesting that anybody can apply for a position that really only the best in the sport will get a shot at. Funnily enough, I haven’t had a reply for my MX1 application just yet…

Tough news out of the U.S. came last weekend that Jake Moss has suffered a broken back at Thunder Valley, damaging the L1, L2 and L3 vertebrae according to a post from him on Facebook.

It’s been a nightmare couple of years on the injury front for both Matt and Jake, especially since their father Greg had just made his first trip to America to watch them in action over there.

Jake will probably come back to Australia to recuperate, however it’s a sad story when you think what could have been if the pair can avoid injuries for a decent while.

Congratulations need to go out to both Brett Metcalfe and Kiwi Ben Townley for putting the ANZACs on the 450 Class podium last weekend, really proving the talent on this side of the pond and giving us something to look forward to on FUEL TV come Sunday mornings.

We’re at the end of a three-race run of events right now, with Spaniards Jorge Lorenzi and Dani Pedrosa the in-form men as the Catalunya round in Barcelona is ready to run this weekend.

While there’s been plenty of updates in the news section on the events of late, Aussie Casey Stoner has voiced his opinion on Fiat Yamaha and Interwetten Honda’s decision to replace both Valentino Rossi and Hiroshi Aoyama with Japanese test riders.

According to Visor Down magazine, Stoner said that Yamaha should have “put anybody in that seat, but not a nobody”, also stating that grid sizes in MotoGP are “a joke”.

Welcome to MotoGP, Wataru Yoshikawa – a 41-year-old former Japanese Superbike Champion and Yamaha MotoGP test regular.

Stoner went on to say that Suzuki should have four bikes on the grid, questioning why manufacturers don’t make use of their bikes from the previous season in this current era.

But Stoner’s not the only Aussie to lash out this week, with 1987 500cc Grand Prix World Champion Wayne Gardner slamming MotoGP and selected riders in its current state in a blog on his website. According to WG, the sport is a “disaster” right now – check that out !

Aussie Casey Stoner has commented on the current state of MotoGP this week.

Aussie Casey Stoner has commented on the current state of MotoGP this week.

Want to know an interesting fact after the Dutch TT at Assen last weekend? Suzuki World Superbike rider Leon Haslam’s best qualifying lap of 1:35.330 on his GSX-R1000 at the recent WSBK round was faster than Loris Capirossi’s MotoGP time of 1:35.664 on the factory GSV-R! Come race time, Capirossi was marginally faster, however the outright best was awarded to WSBK star Haslam.

Aussie Troy Corser claimed his first Superpole over a year at Misano last weekend, a huge credit to BMW in its development, while Max Biaggi went on to score another tremendous double victory. It looks like the Euro newcomers have certainly arrived!

With the Broadford round of the Australian Superbike Championship cancelled, a round that was only set to feature the development categories, much of the attention has gone to the Formula Xtreme round at Eastern Creek for this weekend.

Some of the more notable ASBK regulars who you will be able to see in action this weekend is current FX1000 Champion Craig McMartin, his teammate Beau Beaton, and also Superstock 1000 C and D points leader Cru Halliday against Kevin Curtain and co. in the FX1000 category.

Superstock 600 front runner Mike Jones also appears on the entry list in FX600, while Aaron Gobert is in for the Supersport class that’s been newly formed within the Formula Oz ranks.

The 125/250-Mono Grand Prix category will be one to watch with the addition of current ASBK point leader Jordan Zamora set to show off his talent against the FX might including Peter Galvin.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading as always!

It's official: Haslam's Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike is better than Loris Capirossi's GSV-R MotoGP contender - at least over a single lap at Assen!

It's official: Haslam's Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike is better than Loris Capirossi's GSV-R MotoGP contender - at least over a single lap at Assen!